Three Simple Things to do to Create a Great Brand

Warning: Rant ahead!

I’m sitting at the airport writing this. It’s not even 9am and already my day has started badly. Last night I had problems with the web check-in for my flight. This meant waking a little earlier to get to the airport and score my seat. So I did…

I booked a taxi through their mobile app. The app only half works. It lets you book a taxi quickly and easily. Great! And it tells you when a driver has accepted your booking. Not. Promise broken. It says it does but it never works. I wait 15 minutes and have to call the operator to find out if a taxi is on the way so I can get to the airport and catch my flight. The taxi arrives after a 30 minute wait. I’m not late yet and I’m losing my time cushion.

I arrive at the airport to be confronted by a traffic jam. Never seen it like this before! The driver was generous and agrees to let me out about a kilometre from my check-in location. It’s walk or be late. I walk.

I arrive at check-in five minutes before I’m due at the gate. Check-in is quick and easy on one of their new DIY machines. Great!

Then it’s through security. Mmm… Always a wait. It’s taking longer than usual. Or at least it seems like this.

I’m through. Now, I’m five minutes late for being at the gate. And, it’s going to take me five minutes to get there. I walk briskly. Well, I walk fast. I can feel the adrenalin racing through my body. Not ideal this early in the day.

I arrive at the gate. Boarding is delayed. Then, the flight is delayed by at least 30 minutes. I make some calls to reschedule my appointments for my arrival. Not ideal.

I settle in for a wait. And, then our gate is changed. Pack up and move again…

I’m more relaxed now. There’s nothing I can do to get to my destination earlier. And, I can write this blog post – upside!

Here’s my point…

The key to your brand, and the value and appreciation it has in the minds of your customers is how well you fulfil your promise.

Every time I put out an offer to sell my product or service I create a promise. An agreement that you will get this and I will deliver this. And with this comes expectations. When I buy a product I expect it to work. When I pay for a service I expect attention. When I book a taxi I expect it to arrive. When I book a taxi via an app that says it will tell me that my booking has been accepted, I expect to be notified.

I also can accept that things can go wrong. When I arrive and traffic is bad, I don’t expect a royal wave through the crowd. It would be great and no promise was made here. Web check-ins not working… If this was an occasional thing, I can accept this. With this airline it’s becoming a habit. I once received an SMS check-in notice 15 minutes after my flight took off! Departing on time… Again, if this was an occasional thing, I could accept this.

Three simple things to do to create a great brand:

  1. Make a promise.
  2. Deliver on your promise.
  3. Clean up when things don’t go to plan.

Mmm… rule one on email and social media… Don’t post whilst upset. I’ll post this later today…

PS: This is pretty tame… I clearly wasn’t that upset.

PPS: And just when I thought things would get better, they got much much worse… Here’s the sequel: Why I slept in a bathroom


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